No other city in the world defines romance more than the City of Light: the pied-à-terre–style boutiques, the Art Nouveau architecture, the picture-perfect sidewalk cafés, walks along the Seine... Planning a special rendezvous with your person? Start by staying at one of Paris's most romantic hotels.
Le Bristol was a magnet for Hollywood royalty when it first opened in 1925, and though the hotel certainly hasn’t lost its starlet cachet, there’s more to be found here than just its endless toile and glamorous Louis XVI-style décor. Treat yourself to refined French fare at the here-Michelin-starred flagship restaurant Epicure or more relaxed 114 Faubourg (which has a Michelin star of its own), pamper yourself at the newly enlarged La Prairie Spa, head out for some retail therapy in one of the hotel’s Smart cars, or, if it’s spring, take a stroll through the garden planted with magnolias. If the crystal chandeliers in the guest rooms don’t go far enough to set the mood, ask the on-site florist about creating a personalized bouquet just for your enjoyment.
The historic Shangri-La Hotel Paris, a majestic 1896 limestone mansion renowned for its swoon-worthy Pierre-Yves Rochon-designed spaces and drop-dead gorgeous Eiffel Tower views, seriously sets the mood. Natural light floods the opulent guest rooms—outfitted in rich textured fabrics, hand-gilded paneling, and neoclassical friezes—and offer commanding views of the Seine, Notre Dame, the Grand Palais, and the tower. After afternoon tea at La 8 Iéna, we suggest taking in the sunset from your lush private outdoor terrace, then retreating to the decadent subterranean spa to indulge in a Carita massage in one of the candlelit treatment rooms.
The Pigalle, Paris's former red light district turned bohemian enclave, provides the perfect backdrop for this maison–turned–five-star sleep, right across the street from the Moulin Rouge. The look, courtesy of designer Jacques Garcia, is equal parts fantastical and opulent: the 20 guest rooms, each named after a different courtesan, are dark and plush, decked out in brocade and chinoiserie fabrics, fringed lampshades, and rich color combos like black and gold or red and turquoise. Other spaces are just as sumptuous—a library-like bar features its own fireplace and wood-paneled walls, there’s a glass-roofed conservatory with dozens of mirrors, and the entryway is a vision of Moorish tiles and crimson velvet chairs, and everywhere else, 19th-century oil paintings and atmosphere.
Le Royal Monceau Raffles
Why save the art tours for visits to the Louvre? If you and your special someone are art lovers, look no further than a stay at Le Royal Monceau Raffles, which has its own on-site contemporary gallery in addition to a one-of-a-kind art collection scattered throughout the property. After dropping your bags in one of its 149 rooms, decked out with mirrored bathrooms and artwork propped up against their walls, see if you can track down the on-site art concierge, who is on hand to answer any question you may have about what’s in house (including works by the likes of Simone Chaput and Lucien Hervé) or arrange tours of nearby galleries and studios.
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Saint James Paris
It doesn’t get more romantic than a stay at a country-style château. That it’s in the heart of Paris is Saint James’s trump card, though be aware: this hotel is anything but expected. Guests arrive by circular drive outside the hotel’s Neoclassical façade; inside, it’s an eccentric mashup of decorative styles, from the tartan wallpaper and leopard-print carpets to the black-and-white grand staircase lined with a whimsical print of hot air balloons (a nod to the grounds’ former days as an airfield). More seriousness awaits in the Guerlain Spa, galleried library-bar, and the Michelin-starred restaurant, where guests can dig into dishes like filleted partridge with black truffle.
A refresh courtesy of Philippe Starck has brought in a new-age look to this Paris institution near the Tuileries gardens, from frosted mirrors and Eero Saarinen-designed Tulip chairs in its two-Michelin-starred restaurant to seat backs emblazoned with Salvador Dalí images in Le Dali. Thankfully, much of what made Le Meurice so glamorously Parisian remains, including the iconic mansard roof, green-and-white marble floors, sumptuous period-style touches like canopied beds and gilded paneling, and glorious views of the Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower.
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La Réserve Paris
A row of Haussmann-era stone houses just a stone’s throw from the Elysée Palace are now the home of La Réserve, one of the city’s most intimate stays. Suited especially for couples, every one of its 40 apartment-style suites feels like its own standalone residence, complete with antique velvet furniture, soft neutral tones, and space to spread out. Downstairs is just as elegant with its rococo reliefs and silk damask upholstery in the smoking parlor and library and the Belle Èpoque look of its cocktail lounge. The pièce de résistance is the subterranean Nescens spa, beloved for its anti-aging treatments and 52-foot pool.